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Medical Cannabis Access Programme

a Doctor talking to their patient.

The key issue that must be addressed is that a product which meets the Department of Health’s own clinical guidelines on the use of medical cannabis in epilepsy must be added to the  Medical Cannabis Access Programme(MCAP) in order to make it accessible to people with epilepsy and their clinicians.

As part of this continuing issue, we were also strongly advocating that Epidyolex - the only licensed CBD based medication for the treatment of two rare epilepsies (Dravet Syndrome & Lennox Gastaut Syndrome) be made available under the medical card & long-term illness schemes. We are pleased that our efforts on this matter have been successful, and this medication has been available in Ireland since the beginning of 2022.


The Medical Cannabis Access Programme provides a safer and more regulated access route for patients to access products which may potentially have a positive impact in the treatment of their condition. It will also remove significant expense from families who are currently accessing other products which do not have good manufacturing procedures. Treatment resistant epilepsy is one of the indications for the MCAP.

The issue surrounding the MCAP from an epilepsy perspective is that none of the currently approved products meet the criteria outlined in the clinical guidelines for use in epilepsy. Therefore, clinicians are extremely hesitant in prescribing any of the currently listed products to their patients due to them not meeting the criteria in epilepsy due to concerns around potential long-term side-effects. This means the MCAP is not being fully utilised for people with epilepsy. 

The use of cannabis-based products in the treatment of epilepsy is a complex issue. To learn more about this, visit the 'Medicinal Cannabis & Epilepsy' section of our website to learn more

Latest News 

The below are some of the latest updates on this matter and associated articles in the news section of our website where you can read more. 

**Please talk to your doctor or epilepsy specialist nurse if you are using or considering using any cannabis-based product. **